Cheviot Hills: background to Breamish Valley
Have you noticed that in winter you can see much further? Things that were out of sight during the summer months now come into view. This is mainly because the leaves have fallen from the (deciduous) hedgerows and trees. Gaps appear: cracks and openings that let us see through to what’s beyond.
During the winter months, I’m always surprised at how high Crawley Hill appears. Throughout the summer and early autumn, I’ll happily walk through Powburn village without even noticing it.
And another constant background is the Cheviot Hills. I find, however, that I’ve actually got to actively look to see these. Strange really, as they’re there all the time and, as I’ve hinted, more visible during winter. I suspect it’s to do with our psychology: we’re programmed to visually separate foreground from background. When you look at your friend when out walking along a country lane, you pretty much only focus on them. You’re aware that there’s a fence behind them, and a field, and the Cheviot Hills, but you’re not really looking at them – you are ‘seeing’ them but not ‘looking’ at them.
So, I’ve been forcing myself to look beyond the foreground and see the background. And what a stunning background we have here in the Breamish Valley! Almost by definition, we’d be expected to be surrounded by hills (being in a valley ‘n all). But just look at those Cheviots. Stunning!